Conan O'Brien Tour 'Convenience Charge' Too High

Dear Coco:

You might have lost an acolyte today. At first I was all excited to read that you were going on a nationwide tour. I have missed you so much that I jumped online immediately and went to ticketmaster.com so I could get my tickets for your June 8 show here in D.C. I typed in the two annoying warped words in the little box and sat back in happy anticipation.

After a few tense moments I got through and found my ticket for $16.55. That's it? $16.55? Awesome! That seemed reasonable, I thought, considering that the show was free in New York, and during those few lost months in L.A. But my excitement turned to fury when I realized that I was mistaken. $16.55 wasn't the price of the ticket. It was the "convenience charge" that Ticketmaster tacked onto the seat price. Sixteen-fifty-five, for the privilege of then buying the ticket. How convenient. For them. Even the Pimpbot 5000 wouldn't charge that kind of juice. But the Christopher Moltisanti wannabes at Ticketmaster don't seem to have a problem with it.

Conan, seriously: Are these the people you want to get in bed with…so to speak? You are judged by the company you keep. Maybe you didn't know how they were soiling your good name for greed. That's what I choose to believe, so I can sleep at night.

Sure, we all grumble when we have to pay these outrageous fees, but this one seemed particularly steep. For example, when I went online to find Salt-N-Pepa tickets at the same venue, they only wanted to stick me for $11.25. Do you think you're so high and mighty that you can outcharge one of the most important musical acts in the history of mankind by five bucks?

I wouldn't have been surprised if I got hit with a $16.55 "convenience charge" to see Jay Leno, but you? After all we've been through together? After my years of watching your endearing nervous tics and oddball cast of characters? I stand second to no man in my love for the Conando and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. I used to record Triumph on "videotape" (read about videotape here on Wikipedia, kids), and we'd watch them over and over on long late nights.

If that wasn't enough to knock me off stride, there's also the matter of this Meet & Greet package, which tries to squeeze me for even more. According to Ticketmaster, if I'm willing to pay about $700, I can get a front-row seat, say hello to you in person, and get my picture taken. I also get a "collectible laminate." Screw that. Frankly, if I'm paying that kind of money, I expect you, Andy, Max, and the Pimpbot to be my personal butlers for the entire night.

In the end I got a ticket anyway, because my convictions aren't so deep that I'd give up a chance to see the Masturbating Bear in person. But I'm still hurt. As Triumph might put it: "Ticketmaster is a really good company…for me to poop on!"

So long for now. See you in June. I'll be in row FF, seat 10, if you want to say hello and give me my $16.55 back.

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